17 October 2012

The Singapore Peranakan Diamond Jubilee Brooch

Formerly referred to on this blog as the Gold Filigree Brooch and referred to by the palace as the Singapore Shield Brooch, this piece is an example of Peranakan, or Straits Chinese, jewelry. The Peranakan Chinese are descendants of Chinese immigrants to what is today Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, and this is typical of the style of jewelry for which they are known. It features detailed filigree work in 18k gold set with 61 brilliant diamonds and was made by Foundation Jewellers in Singapore. The design is the Bird Of Paradise Pendant & Brooch, and the $6,800 jewels sold out after news spread that The Queen had one.
Singapore Peranakan Brooch
Foundation Jewellers Pte Ltd via Singapore Jewellers Association
The brooch was a Diamond Jubilee gift to The Queen in 2012 from the President of Singapore, listed on the 2012 official gift list as a gold and diamond brooch depicting a bird of paradise. Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs purchased it from the jeweler in July 2012. The Singapore connection was suggested again during the 2014 state visit of President Tony Tan to the United Kingdom, when The Queen wore this brooch to bid him farewell at the end of the trip.
The Queen attends the launch of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs at Chatham House, 2014
Chatham House Flickr, via Creative Commons
Many of the jewels given to The Queen as official gifts go unworn for years, trotted out only when the occasion is directly related to their provenance, but that’s not the case with this brooch. Since she first wore it in 2012, the Singapore Peranakan Diamond Jubilee Brooch has become one of the few official gifts that The Queen wears for occasions outside of those with specific ties to Singapore, so I assume she’s quite pleased with her gift. Along with official engagements, she’s also wore it for personal occasions, including the 2015 christening of her great-granddaughter Princess Charlotte.

Many thanks to commenters Dawn and Sue as well as the Straits Times for adding information on this brooch’s provenance!

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16 October 2012: Diamond Jubilee Reception